Performing for actors can be bizarre for a musician. DJ Paul Edge has played plenty of massive shows, but he faced a new challenge appearing behind the turntables on this season’s Halloween episode of the CBS hit television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. “The crowd wasn’t hyped up enough,” he laughs. “Normally, in a club the audience goes crazy. In this setting, they couldn’t because there were cameras, interruptions, etc. However, CSI still pushed the envelope with their footage. They got the right vibe.”
Edge is an expert when it comes to the “right” club vibe. He was the headlining DJ at The Outer Limits, one of the UK’s biggest club nights in the 1990s. His breakthrough track “The Metamorphosis of Narcotics” has become a veritable trance classic, and in addition to infiltrating America musically, he has created the “We Will Not Be Silenced” videos, two of the Internet’s most-watched viral political videos. Now Edge’s swirling, psychedelic dance tracks can be heard on the world’s most-watched television show.
During the Halloween club sequence, Edge’s pounding re-work of Stone Temple Pilots’ “Sex Type Thing” morphs into his pulsating original track “Release Yourself.” He also lays a gyrating depth charge with his “LSDevil,” which heightens the mood in two more of the episode’s scenes. As a DJ, Edge stands out on today’s scene by seamlessly blending rugged hard rock grooves and ethereal electronic transmissions with his fluid embrace of the psychedelic. “I’m trying to add a foundation to American dance music with rock,” he says. “There’s a natural synergy between rock and electronica because they’re both based on energy.”
On the original CSI — based in Las Vegas — that musical energy propels the narrative. Edge’s tracks capture the show’s sexy swagger with their crawling synth lines and raw riffs. CSI coproducer Phil Conserva was a fan of the DJ’s work, and he chose Edge to appear as himself on the show. “Part of CSI’s attitude comes from the music that we select,” says Conserva. “CSI is about people finding the truth through evidence, and that takes a lot of time. Music helps us get through some of it. We try to be as bold as possible, and using Paul’s style of music is certainly bold.”
Edge is thrilled to join a CSI repertoire of musical guests that also includes heavyweights John Mayer, Coldplay and Sigur Ros. “What I do is not mainstream music,” he says, “but that is why CSI is still one of television’s biggest shows after nine seasons, because they’re willing to push the envelope.”